Incentivize Humane Treatment of Livestock

Target: House Committee on Ways and Means

Goal: To provide tax incentives for the humane treatment of livestock

Cruel and inhumane living conditions are standard for most livestock around the country. As our government has encouraged the monopolization of agriculture, they have ignored the grotesque consequences for animals treated as mass-produced commodities. Most animal farms in the U.S. today are CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations), in which livestock are subject to a range of inhumane treatment, such as spending their lives in cages too small to allow mobility, the force-feeding of an unnatural diet, and immediate separation from the mother after birth. Our federal laws and regulations do not prohibit this kind of treatment on farming operations, but Congress can amend the tax code to provide fiscal incentives for the humane treatment of livestock.

The Animal Welfare Act of 1996 designates standards for the humane treatment of animals in commercial, exhibition, and laboratory settings, but excludes standards for livestock. In scientific terms, pigs and cows are about as closely related to humans as dogs and cats are, yet our laws do nothing to protect pigs and cows (or other livestock) the same way they protect dogs and cats. It is hypocritical at best to protect one and not the other; livestock animals have essentially the same intelligence and emotional capacity as those animals we keep as pets, but while the well-being of pet animals is protected by law, livestock are still regarded as inanimate commodities. Living beings deserve humane treatment, regardless of their place in the market. In lieu of criminal legal protection, Congress can at least provide economic incentives for the well-being of livestock.

Farms that raise their livestock in humane conditions should be rewarded, while those that choose to abuse and exploit their livestock should be punished. Sign below to demand that CAFOs be taxed depending on their treatment of livestock, such as by the concentration of animals per acre of open pasture, and that farms already employing humane treatment of livestock be offered tax deductions based on the extra cost of raising each animal humanely. Congress must set up a reward and punishment system with the tax code as a protection for these animals, until criminal regulations are in place.

PETITION LETTER:

Cruel and inhumane living conditions are standard for most livestock around the country. As state and federal policies have encouraged the monopolization of agriculture, lawmakers have ignored the grotesque consequences for animals treated as mass-produced commodities. Most animal farms in the U.S. today are CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations), in which livestock are subject to a range of inhumane treatment, such as spending their lives in cages too small to allow mobility, the force-feeding of an unnatural diet, and immediate separation from the mother after birth. Our federal laws and regulations do not prohibit this kind of treatment on farming operations, and so we ask that Congress amend the tax code to provide fiscal incentives for the humane treatment of livestock.

The Animal Welfare Act of 1996 designates standards for the humane treatment of animals in commercial, exhibition, and laboratory settings, but excludes standards for livestock. Livestock animals have essentially the same intelligence and emotional capacity as those animals we keep as pets, but while the well-being of pet animals is protected by law, livestock are still regarded as inanimate commodities. Living beings deserve humane treatment, regardless of their place in the market. In lieu of legal protection, Congress can at least provide economic incentives for the well-being of livestock.

Farms that raise their livestock in humane conditions should be rewarded, while those that choose to abuse and exploit their livestock should be punished. We demand that CAFOs be taxed depending on their treatment of livestock, such as by the concentration of animals per acre of open pasture, and that farms already employing humane treatment of livestock be offered tax deductions based on the extra cost of raising each animal humanely. We demand that you establish a reward/punishment system with the tax code to protect these animals, until criminal regulations are in place.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: John Mauremootoo via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. jeanne rogers says:

    It makes me sick to know that these horrific acts are done to innocent living creatures! Where is the humanity? The kindness? It’s become about greed and cruelty! WTF? How sad!!!

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